Vegetarian jambalaya that can be made in a flash with Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix, and then scooped into red peppers ready for roasting. It's all topped off with cornbread and cheddar cheese.
Do you like knowing the history behind some of our traditions? Me too. Mardi Gras is coming up, and today this celebration is practically synonymous with New Orleans. But its roots are firmly planted in early pagan spring and fertility festivals known as Boeuf Gras (Fatted Calf). Apparently these early celebrations moved around Europe and ultimately to France, picking up traditions along the way, and traveled with French colonists to the New World. It didn’t take long before New Orleans made Mardi Gras her own celebration for the two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday, the eve of the Christian Lenten season, with Creole cooking at the center of family gatherings.
Mardi Gras is as much a part of New Orleans’ history as jambalaya is embedded in Creole cooking traditions. A meal in itself, it’s thought to be the New Orleans version of Spain’s paella, dating back to Spanish rule in the mid- to late-1700s. If you travel to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you will be treated to its aroma everywhere.
Traditional jambalaya starts with browning a spicy sausage (such as Andouille) in a heavy bottomed pot, followed by a ‘trinity’ of vegetables (onion, celery, and green or red bell pepper). Seafood, broth, seasonings, and rice follow, creating a complete meal perfect for large gatherings. Just imagine large pots cooking, while extended family members tumble out onto the lawn for one of the biggest festivals of the year.
Variations abound since this is such an easy dish to customize to your own preferences, and I’ve now added a vegetarian variation using Zatarain’s Original Jambalaya mix. Some may think it heresy to omit the Andouille (like my husband, Carnivorous Maximus, and my dog, Carnivorous Minimus), but it’s easy to add this at the end for them.
(No, don't sic the Humane Society on me – Paprika (Rika) is not getting any for dinner. She just likes meat with every doggie meal.)
Zatarain’s has been in business for 125 years, and perfectly captures the authentic New Orleans’ flavors we love. So if you can’t make it to New Orleans this year for Mardi Gras, pick up a box (or two or three), and make your own steaming bowls of jambalaya. Best of all, instead of cooking all day, you can now make New Orleans’ signature dish in 30 minutes or less without compromising on flavor. If Zatarain’s is new to you, please visit their website for more information on the company and its products! For recipe ideas, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Be sure to visit our Jambalaya Boards on Zatarain’s and SundaySupper!
Vegetarian Jambalaya Stuffed Red Peppers Casserole
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- ¾ cup diced green pepper
- 2 Tbsp finely diced jalapeño pepper 1/2 pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup diced Roma tomatoes 4 Romas
- 1 package Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Jambalaya Mix - Original
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup cooked red beans
- 4 cut out circles corn bread to top peppers plus 1 cup cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 4 red peppers
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese I used Cabot
- Chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
- Warm the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced celery, onion, green pepper, jalapeño, and salt. Sauté until fragrant and softened, about 7 - 10 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, plus the contents of 1 package of Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix, cooked, and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Stir in the beans, and carefully fold in the cubes of cornbread, keeping them intact.
- Carve out the stems of the red peppers using a sharp knife, and remove the seeds, creating a large enough opening in the tops of the red peppers to allow for easy stuffing. Place in a baking dish.
- Spoon the stuffing into the peppers, filling them to the top. Spread the remaining stuffing around them in the baking dish.
- Top each of the stuffed peppers with 1 tablespoon of cheddar cheese, tent loosely with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and place each of the cornbread circles on top of each stuffed pepper. (Each of my cornbread disks were about 3/4-inch thick.) Top each cornbread disk with 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese. Tent loosely with foil, and bake about 15 minutes, or until the red peppers are cooked.
- Remove the foil, using a sharp knife to gently pry it off any of the cheese, and sprinkle with a little parsley. Serve hot.
Jambalaya for a New Orleans-Style Mardi Gras
Appetizers and Soup
- Chicken Jambalaya Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Jambalaya Cajun Shrimp Bites from Daily Dish Recipes
- Skillet Jambalaya Dip from Life Tastes Good
- Tex Mex Jambalaya Taco Cups from Flavor Mosaic
- Chicken and Sausage Jamburritos from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Chicken and Shrimp Quinoa Jambalaya from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Crock Pot Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya from Serena Bakes Simply from Scratch
- Crock Pot Creole Jambalaya from Flour On My Face
- Easy Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Hawaiian Jambalaya from Shockingly Delicious
- Jambalaya Lettuce Wraps from Magnolia Days
- Jambalaya Pasta with Crawfish and Sausage from Bobbi’s Kozi Kitchen
- Jambalaya Salad Bowl from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Jambalaya Stuffed Baked Potatoes from Fearless Dining
- Jambalaya with Shrimp and Crispy Wings from Feeding Big
- Portuguese Style Jambalaya from Family Foodie
- Spicy Chicken Jambalaya with Sausages and Green Beans from Panning the Globe
- Turkey Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya from Cooking Chat
- Vegetarian Jambalaya Stuffed Red Peppers Casserole from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Zatarain's Roasted Chicken with Jambalaya Stuffing from Recipes Food and Cooking
- Plus Versatile Jambalaya Recipes plus Seafood Jambalaya Frittata from Sunday Supper Movement
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